Top 10 Best Rowing Machines Buying Guide

Finding the best rowing machines is not always so easy, as there are so many features and models to choose from. You might stumble on the best or maybe the worst ones. Don’t worry. We’ll help you out with that, read our buying guide below.

best rowing machine

Keeping yourself physically fit is not a piece of cake. You need a strict discipline when it comes to anything you eat. It could also be a schedule of your appointments at the gym or with your trainer to keep your physique healthy and fit. So, as what they always say, a good and balanced diet and regular exercise will definitely keep you in shape.

But sometimes, even a slightest mistake of missing one of these appointments or maybe a bit change in your diet will bring a drastic effect. Then, you have to start all over again. Such a hassle, isn’t it? You need to head out on the health gym and restart the whole process. But, wouldn’t it be much better if you could just do your workouts at home? To have your own equipment that will boost your stamina, keep you healthy and keep you in shape? All of these are possible with a health equipment – a Rowing Machine.

Just as how other exercise machines work, like treadmills, elliptical machines, stair steppers or stationary bikes, a rowing machine is an exercise equipment that assists you with your health and body concerns such as losing weight, stronger stamina at muscles, and boost in cardiovascular system. Other exercise machines Thus, a rowing machine gives you a full body workout. It functions with a push-and-pull body movement just like how you row on a boat. The pressure, however, is mostly focused with the hips and arms. Nonetheless, all the parts of the body function quite well as they are all coordinated with this exercise.

Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Rowing Machine

Here are some factors you need to consider before buying a rowing machine.

1. SIZE and WEIGHT – A rowing machine is large in size and weight but it may vary according to the product you buy. Many users or buyers check this factor first to make sure they are not buying a machine that’s too big for their home. The weight should also be considered. If you want to move the rowing machine from place to place or to a different spot in your home, it’s better to consider the weight if it is according to your preference. Built-in wheels would also be recommended for easy storage.

2. MOTION TYPE – You should also check how the motion is designed on the product. There are three types of designs according to what type of motion you prefer.
a. Fixed Head – The foot stretcher and the flywheel are fixed. The seat slides along the rail. This is the most common type.
b. Floating head – The seat and the foot stretcher both slide on a rail.
c. Fixed seat – The seat is fixed and the foot stretcher is the only part that slides forward and away from the rower.

3. DISPLAY OPTIONS/PROGRAM – Most users who are on a strict schedule of workouts prefer to record their assessments. So you may check if the rowing machine is capable of recording the speed, number of strokes or whatever program you prefer. Most rowing machines have this recorded on an LCD display.

4. TYPE OF RESISTANCE ROWERS – Rowing machines also have different types of mechanism according to the resistance. There are four types.
a. Air Resistance – This type of rowing machine functions with fan blades and a flywheel. The resistance is based on how the flywheels are spun. The faster it is spun, the higher the resistance. This is the most common type in gyms or health centers.
b. Magnetic Resistance – This type of mechanism is controlled by electromagnets. This is the main system that generates the resistance. Thus, the resistance is constant and does not offer higher intensity unlike air and water resistance which stimulates actual rowing. However, this type is easier to maintain and is quieter than any other types.
c. Hydraulic or Piston Resistance – This type is actually cheaper by the price. To function, the resistance is generated by the pistons that are attached to the handles. The handles are pulled and pushed while your body is also moving – glides through the seat on the rail. This is very compact and some hydraulic machines have the seat fixed. If you have limited budget, you can consider this type.
d. Water Resistance – This type of mechanism gives you the feel of actual rowing. It also offers higher intensity as the user rows. The faster the rowing is, the higher the intensity is. The paddle is attached to a tank of water. As the rower pulls the handle, the rower glides as the seat slides on the rail. Many prefer this kind of type as it burns more calories and also eco-friendly. It gives a smooth and silent drive.

Top 10 Recommended Best Rowing Machines

If you’ve decided what type of rowing machine you prefer, the next step is purchasing the product. To assist you with the best ones, we’ve listed down the Top 10 Best Rowing Machines on Amazon.

#1. Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5

Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5


This is an air resistance type of rowing machine. The resistance is generated by the flywheel and blades. This Concept2 Model D offers a PM5 or Performance Monitor 5 which gives more accurate data for every row you do. It is compatible with USB flash drive to record the data you need including the monitoring of your heart rate. The monitor arm is also adjustable. It also features a quick-release framelock mechanism for more convenient storage. Quick and easy sizing is also possible with Concept2 D with its adjustable footrests and ergonomic handle. It has the weight capacity of 300 pounds.

About the Product – What Users are Saying:

“This item exceeded my expectations. The machine is extraordinarily solid. No wiggles or give what so ever. Just unbelievable for a 55lb machine. The rowing motion is great. Clutch uptake is without slack. The slide is smooth…”

#2. Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine

Sunny Health & Fitness SF-RW5515 Magnetic Rowing Machine


If you prefer a different type of rowing machine, Sunny Health and Fitness offers a magnetic type. It has a magnetic tension system with 8 adjustable resistance. For more comfortable experience, the seats are fully padded and the handles have non-slip grip. The foot pedals are also anti-slip and large with adjustable foot straps. For you to see the data about your workout, the large LCD display shows the time, count, calories, scan and the total count. It has built-in wheels for easy transportation and storage. The weight capacity is 250 pounds.

About the Product – What Users are Saying:

“All the reviews were right on, this product is sturdy, and very easy to assemble!”

#3. Stamina Air Rower (Black, Chrome)

Stamina Air Rower (Black, Chrome)

Stamina Air Rower (Black, Chrome)


This air resistance rowing machine by Stamina offers a comfortable rowing experience. It has multifunctional monitor to keep the data on track. It displays the speed, distance, time and how much calories are burned. The seat is also padded, oversized and angled for more comfortable seating. It is suitable for any user as the footplates are larger. No hassle for storing as it has built-in wheels for easy transporting.
About the Product – What Users are Saying:
“The Stamina Air Rower definitely gets my heart rate elevated and provides a very good leg workout… The resistance is excellent.”
https://www.amazon.com/Stamina-Air-Rower-Rowing-Machine/dp/B00EBXNIFQ/ref=zg_bs_3407791_3

#4. WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor

WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor

WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor


Water rowing machines are preferred by many as it gives the actual feel of rowing. You could feel that too with this WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine. The ash wood design is also very innovative. But the function is very commendable. It has Series 4 performance monitor that keeps track of workout intensity, stroke rate, heart rate, zone bar, duration, and distance. It guarantees a smooth and silent drive as you row.

About the Product – What Users are Saying:

“I am very impressed with this rowing machine. It arrived in perfect condition. It was easy to assemble. Even when filled, it is easy to lift up to vertical storage position. The rowing motion is so smooth and quiet. I LOVE hearing the paddles pull through the water in the tank. It sounds like being on the lake.”

#5. Stamina InMotion Rower

Stamina InMotion Rower

Stamina InMotion Rower


This rowing machine from Stamina is a hydraulic type. It guarantees a durable quality with its solid steel construction. Since it is a hydraulic rowing machine, it is compact and affordable at its price. You can adjust the resistance levels among the 5 settings. It gives you a comfortable rowing experience with the stitched seat and pivoting foot plates with adjustable strap.

About the Product – What Users are Saying:

“I use this twice a day. I LOVE IT! I can’t believe that I was able to put it all together myself! It is easy to use and in twenty minutes I burn 150 calories!

#6. Rowing Machine by Stamina - BodyTrac Glider 1060

Rowing Machine by Stamina - BodyTrac Glider 1060

Rowing Machine by Stamina - BodyTrac Glider 1060


If you prefer Hydraulic rowing machines, you may want to consider this one from Stamina. The Bodytrac Glider 1060 offers a full range of motion-rowing arms with padded grips. To track the data of your workout, it has a larger electronic monitor with a tablet holder. It is also easy to store with its foldable arms and stand.

About the Product – What Users are Saying:

“This is rowing machine is amazing. Easy to put together and very high quality. This is my first rowing machine and I love it.”

#7. Sunny Health & Fitness Rowing Machine with Full-Motion Arms

Sunny Health & Fitness Rowing Machine with Full-Motion Arms

Sunny Health & Fitness Rowing Machine with Full-Motion Arms


This hydraulic rowing machine from Sunny Health and Fitness features a full-motion rowing arms with 12 adjustable levels of resistance. This full-motion arms let your work out those legs, arms, back, abs, glutes and many other parts. It is a full body workout. It has a padded seat and non-slip grip on handles for more comfortable drive. An LCD display is also built-in to show the data about your time, counts, calories and total counts.

About the Product – What Users are Saying:

“Just what I was looking for something that I can use to exercise at home. I think it gives you a pretty good workout, I’m 59 and very active and adding this to my routine is a plus.”

#8. Soozier Adjustable Fitness Home Workout Rower Glider Machine

Soozier Adjustable Fitness Home Workout Rower Glider Machine

Soozier Adjustable Fitness Home Workout Rower Glider Machine


With the heavy duty steel frame, this hydraulic rowing machine from Soozier is definitely right for the perfect workout. The resistance levels are also adjustable with the tension knob. It displays the time and speed on the LCD screen. The full-range motion rowing arms gives you a full body workout.

About the Product – What Users are Saying:

“This piece of equipment provides a good workout without taking up a lot of space. It’s a good value for the money. I highly recommend it!”

#9. XTERRA ERG400 Rower

XTERRA ERG400 Rower

XTERRA ERG400 Rower


The XTERRA ERG400 is an air resistance rowing machine that offers 16 levels of electronic resistance according to your preferred exercise. It has an aluminum seat slide rail with steel support that gives a smooth and easy motion. It has an LCD console that displays the elapsed time, stroke counts, distance, calories and strokes per minute and watts. It is also easy for storage with its foldable frame.

About the Product – What Users are Saying:

“I have my rower for about 2 months now. It was super easy to assemble, anyone can do it. The pull mechanism is smooth and the machine is quiet.”

#10. LifeSpan RW1000 Indoor Rowing Machine

LifeSpan RW1000 Indoor Rowing Machine

LifeSpan RW1000 Indoor Rowing Machine


This magnetic rowing machine from LifeSpan RW1000 offers a smooth and quiet drive. It is built with solid steel frame for sturdy quality. The easy storage feature is also commendable as you can fold it when you’re done with your workout. It has an LCD display that shows the distance, calories, time, strokes, and strokes per minute workout feedback. The weight capacity is 300 pounds.

About the Product – What Users are Saying:

“It provides a good workout that is easy on the joints (I have knee and ankle problems) and has the varying tension levels to use which is nice.”

 

How to Use a Rowing Machine

Rowing machines are actually not a common exercise equipment so not all users are very familiar how it functions. Here are the guidelines how to use the rowing machine properly. Take note of these reminders.

1. There are four phases or basic positions that you’ll go through while exercising with a rowing machine – catch, drive, finish and recovery.

2. The starting position is what you call the catch. In this position, the knees are bent just like your body hugging them. Your arms are placed forward holding the handlebar. The knees shouldn’t be too far apart or too close to each other. It should be just right above the arms. Relax your hands while holding the handle. Don’t over grip.

3. Next is the drive. This is the powerful movement where you move like you’re rowing. Breaking the arms in the catch is not right. You don’t bend the arms right at it. Start the drive with straight arms then move your hips along the trail. As your body pushes and pulls, your arms should be straight. Stretch out your legs first, then your body and finish with your arms. The arms are bent showing the elbows pointed outward.

4. The finish or release position is when you get back from doing the rowing movement and recovery. Your legs are straight, the torso is leaned back slightly, the elbows are pointed outward and the handle comes right in parallel to your chest.

5. The last position is the recovery. It is the position right when you’ve done the drive – the slow slide back from the drive. It requires lesser or no resistance. It is like a pause or steady movement after the previous stroke. The legs are straight, the arms are also leaned forward and straight and your body is bent forward and is about to move to the finish position, then to drive, then catch. The whole process restarts.

To know more about using the rowing machine properly, check the video below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0r_ZPXJLtg

 

TODAY’S Top 10 Amazon Best Sellers in Rowing Machines

Here is the top 10 list of best selling Rowing Machines as of TODAY on Amazon. This list is updated daily based on best seller rank and actual sales data. For your convenience, you can pick one of these Rowing Machines that the community considers best.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Magnetic Rowing Machine with Adjustable Resistance by Sunny Health & Fitness – SF-RW5515
147 Reviews
Magnetic Rowing Machine with Adjustable Resistance by Sunny Health & Fitness – SF-RW5515
  • Magnetic tension System with (8) levels of adjustable resistance
  • Large LCD console displays time, count, calories, total count, Scan
  • Fully padded seat and non-slip grip handlebars for optimal comfort
  • Large anti-slip foot pedals with adjustable foot straps
  • Built in transportation wheels for easy portability; maximum user weight 250 lbs
Bestseller No. 2
Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine (Black) with PM5
1066 Reviews
Concept2 Model D Indoor Rowing Machine (Black) with PM5
  • Indoor rowing is an effective full-body, low-impact workout; Flywheel design minimizes noise while...
  • Includes the Performance Monitor 5, giving you accurate, comparable data for every row; Adjustable...
  • 14-inch seat height, nickel-plated chain, adjustable footrests and ergonomic handle
  • Easily separates into two pieces for storage. Caster wheels make it mobile
  • Requires footprint of 9 x 4 feet; 500-pound capacity; 5-year frame warranty
Bestseller No. 3
Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine
1957 Reviews
Stamina Body Trac Glider 1050 Rowing Machine
  • Home rowing machine with compact footprint--23.5 x 46 inches
  • Adjustable gas-shock resistance
  • Monitor shows time, stroke count, and calories burned
  • Sturdy, steel frame construction
  • Folds for easy storage
SaleBestseller No. 4
Stamina ATS Air Rower 1399
534 Reviews
Stamina ATS Air Rower 1399
  • Wind-resistance rowing machine with multi-function performance monitor
  • Monitor displays speed, distance, time, and calories burned
  • Padded, upholstered seat; large footplates for any size user; over-sized, angled seat rail for...
  • Folds for storage; built-in wheels for portability; floor protectors prevent skidding
  • Three-year frame warranty; 90-day parts warranty Assembled size-77" long x 18" wide x 22" tall
SaleBestseller No. 5
Rowing Machine with 12 Adjustable Resistance by Sunny Health & Fitness – SF-RW1205
559 Reviews
Rowing Machine with 12 Adjustable Resistance by Sunny Health & Fitness – SF-RW1205
  • 12 levels of adjustable resistance
  • Comfortable, smooth running seat
  • Pivoting foot plates for added comfort
  • Adjustable foot straps
  • Electronic monitor displays time, count, total count, calories burned, scan
Bestseller No. 6
Concept2 Model E Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5, Black
136 Reviews
Concept2 Model E Indoor Rowing Machine with PM5, Black
  • Indoor rowing is an effective full-body and low-impact workout; flywheel design minimizes noise...
  • Includes the performance monitor 5, giving you accurate, comparable data for every row; Adjustable...
  • 20-Inch seat height, nickel-plated chain, Adjustable footrests and ergonomic handle
  • Easily separates into two pieces for storage. Caster wheels make it mobile
  • Requires footprint of 9 x 4 feet; 500-pound capacity; 5-year frame Warranty
Bestseller No. 7
Sunny Health & Fitness Rowing Machine with Full Motion Arms
82 Reviews
Sunny Health & Fitness Rowing Machine with Full Motion Arms
  • The Rowing Machine with Full Motion Arms allows full range movement, with 12 levels of adjustable...
  • Fully thick-padded seat, non-slip grip handlebars and large anti-slip pedals with adjustable foot...
  • Full-Motion Arms targets all major muscle groups such as the legs, arms, back, abs, glutes and more
  • Built-in LCD displays your time, count, calories, and total counts
  • Sleek, solid steel frame provides optimal support and comfort
Bestseller No. 8
Stamina 35-1405 ATS Air Rower
98 Reviews
Stamina 35-1405 ATS Air Rower
  • Multi-function electronic performance monitor displays speed, distance, time, and calories burned
  • Comfortable foam padded molded seat slides easily on ball bearing rollers
  • Over-sized chrome seat rail for smooth sliding seat
  • Folds for storage; wheels for easy portability
  • Measures 78 x 31.5 x 19.75 inches (W x H x D); weighs 73 pounds; 3-year frame warranty
Bestseller No. 9
WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor
182 Reviews
WaterRower Natural Rowing Machine in Ash Wood with S4 Monitor
  • Handcrafted rowing machine with "water flywheel" that replicates actual rowing feel
  • Flywheel sits in enclosed water tank to provide smooth, quiet, self-regulated resistance
  • Series 4 performance monitor tracks workout intensity, stroke rate, heart rate, and more
  • Solid ash and stained honey oak construction absorbs sound and vibration
  • Stores upright; measures 84 x 21 x 22 inches (W x H x D) and weighs 117 pounds
SaleBestseller No. 10
Stamina X Air Rowing Machine
21 Reviews
Stamina X Air Rowing Machine
  • VERSATILE WORKOUT EQUIPMENT - The intensity of your workout depends mainly on the air resistance the...
  • DESIGNED FOR COMFORTABLE USE - Stamina packed its rowing machine with features that will make...
  • EQUIPPED WITH MONITORING DEVICE - To keep you further motivated and aim for improvement, this...
  • PORTABLE AND COMPACT - This fitness machine is equipped with built-in wheels and a foldable frame...
  • DAZADI MONEY BACK GUARANTEE and WARRANTY - Your product will arrive with all the necessary parts,...

 

What are the Rowing Machine Benefits?

These rowing machine benefits are all visible if the machine is used properly.

  1. Helps you lose weight.
  2. It is a great exercise for the lungs and heart. It stabilizes the energy to keep your body and immune system strong.
  3. Helps you tone your muscles.
  4. Keeps your body physically fit.
  5. Increases your endurance and boosts your metabolism.
  6. Very convenient to use.